RCW: Donor Spotlight 4.23
Mike Lewis of Shawnee, Kansas, has been a member of the Williams Education Fund for the past 10 years but has been tailgating in the exact same spot, with the same group of friends, at University of Kansas football games since 2002. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from KU in 2001, he continued his educational pursuits by earning his Doctor of Medicine in 2007, which opened the door for his professional career. Today, Lewis holds many titles, including: Associate Professor, Medical Director of Pediatric Inpatient and Intensive Care Unit, Program Director of Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinic and Associate Division Director of General Pediatrics at the University of Kansas Health System.
While Lewis does not have any relatives who attended KU, he is doing his part to get an early start on encouraging the development of several young Jayhawks.
When describing what KU means to him, Lewis stated, “It’s part of my identity. The university has given me the tools to be successful in my career and personal life. My wife and kids enjoy embracing the university as well. We will spend time on campus at so many various events and while my children are under 10 years old, they already know many parts of campus.”
In addition to his pure love for KU, Lewis credits his reasoning behind joining the Williams Education Fund to having the opportunity, “To give specifically to the athletes on campus who are working hard to reach their goals.”
He continued on the topic of student-athletes by expressing his clear understanding behind the importance of his continued support.
“The student-athletes are ambassadors for our great university and state,” Lewis explained. “It is a full-time job doing what they do and they deserve our support to help them prosper academically, athletically, and personally.”
When asked about his most memorable moment while being a supporter of Kansas Athletics, Lewis mentioned that there are two that he will never forget.
His first was the KU vs. KSU football game back in 2004 held at Memorial Stadium here in Lawrence, Kansas. He described the atmosphere of the game as, “The loudest I remember Memorial Stadium ever being.”
The second moment that Lewis will always remember was at the 2008 KU vs. Missouri football game, held at Arrowhead Stadium, where Kerry Meier made an incredible catch from Todd Reesing in the snow to win the game, 40-37, for the Jayhawks.
Throughout Lewis’ many years of supporting KU Athletics, he still says that the Rock Chalk Chant is his favorite tradition to participate in. In regards to his favorite athletes, however, he went more in-depth in his decision.
“It is a tie between Danny Manning and Darrell Stuckey,” Lewis said. “Both were elite athletes who were even better people. Both have given back to the university in various ways, but have always been role models for younger people.”
To conclude, Lewis was asked to answer a question pertaining to a scenario where if he could see any five KU basketball players, from either the past or present, on the court playing together who would it be? In addition to the KU players, he also would have the opportunity to coach them that night and choose the team they would be playing.
Lewis responded with, “Danny Manning, Wilt Chamberlain, Paul Pierce, Kirk Hinrich and Jacque Vaughn.” When it came to his selection for who they would be playing, his humor shined though his choice by stating, “We would play the best players ever from Mizzou and win by 100 or so.”
Rock Chalk, Mike Lewis, and thank you for being featured in this edition of Rock Chalk Weekly’s Donor Spotlight!
For more information on the Williams Education Fund, including tickets, parking, premium seating, facility projects and special events, visit WilliamsFund.com.